Tuesday 17 August 2021

ICOM Red List on Afghanistan

 The rapidity of the takeover by Taliban forces in Afghanistan just a few days ago initially took many of us by surprise. The Taliban, who had held power in most of the country for just five years (from 1996 to 2001 ) as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, were driven out of most regions two decades ago by the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom" of Oct/Dec 2001. This had established the regime that has just fallen (15th August 2021). Mindful of what happened to monuments and artefacts under the Taliban in their previous period of power two decades ago, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has issued a statement informing of "the very real possibility of facing looters" and bringing to attention the ICOM Red List on Afghan Antiquities at Risk of illicit traffic  and the artefacts it describes. Let's hope there are not too many collectors out there downloading it to act as a shopping list. 

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